Cal Crutchlow has started the long rehabilitation process after he underwent successful surgery on a long-standing left shoulder injury in Manchester last week.
The Coventry rider needed tendon and ligament damage to be repaired in the procedure, which was the exact operation nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi underwent on his right shoulder in Italy last month.
Crutchlow first damaged the shoulder on his factory Yamaha R1 World Superbike debut at a test in Portimao back in October 2009.
He raced throughout 2010 in almost constant pain but underwent surgery with renowned shoulder expert Len Funk last week.
The former World Supersport champion now faces a desperate race to be fit for the resumption of winter testing at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia on February 1.
Crutchlow though, who will ride alongside Colin Edwards in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad in 2011, is confident he will be fit for his second test on a YZR-M1 machine.
The normal recovery period for the surgery undertaken by Crutchlow is three months but he told MCN: “Professor Funk said it will be a tough recovery but he thinks I should be able to ride in Sepang.
"Being young enough I should be able to heal up quite well and I’ll go to the hyperbaric chamber as much as I can on the Isle of Man to speed up the process.
"As far as Professor Funk is concerned, he will allow me to ride on February 1 as long as everything is right. Normally people would be off work for three months let alone thinking about riding a motorbike seven weeks later.”
Crutchlow needs to keep his arm immobile in a sling for just over two more weeks and he admitted conquering boredom was an issue as he tries to keep in peak physical condition during the winter.
He added: “I’m in a sling for three weeks now and that is pretty boring to be honest. I’m glad now I had the operation because at one stage I was thinking about not having it.
"They found quite a few bits wrong, so hopefully that will put me in better shape for the future. I hope to be cycling soon. I did a fitness test just before the operation and I’ll have another one before the start of the season.
"But last week I equalled the best ever fitness test I’ve ever had. I’ve got a static pushbike at home and its not much fun just sitting in front of the TV on a bike but there’s not really much else I can do at the moment.
"I just want to get right for Sepang because I’ve heard it is really physical and difficult on the brakes.
"It is tough braking and hard on the shoulders but I seem to be naturally stronger and bigger built than some guys in MotoGP so that might help me a bit. As far as I’m concerned I’m going to Sepang to ride.”